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DFW-HNL-SIN-ORD on Northwest in F and WBC

DFW-HNL-SIN-ORD on Northwest in F and WBC

Old May 31, 09, 1:06 pm
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DFW-HNL-SIN-ORD on Northwest in F and WBC

Background: Around April I noticed the triple EQM promotion being offered by NorthWest on M class or higher fares. I had no real intention of maintaining th NWA Platinum status I had received through a status match to my UA 1k, however I noticed a mileage run that was posted where I could get a trip to SIN upgraded for WBC for about $1800. In the end, I ended up buying a ticket from DFW-HNL-SIN-MSP for about $1780 AI with upgrades confirmed the whole way. Though it was a trip I never planned on doing this year, I figured the to receive at least 66k EQM towards 2010 status, NWA Platinum would be easily achieved along with a nice chance to earn some miles to transfer to Delta and I could try out the NWA World Business Class product and compare it to United Business Class.

I got up at 5:55 to begin this mileage run. I had booked the Country Inn and Suites DFW on Priceline for about $40 for the night which in hindsight I regret. First off, I arrived into DFW on United at half past midnight and got stuck paying $23 for a taxi to the hotel since the shuttle had stopped for the night. The room was clean and on par with an older Hampton Inn, additionally there was a decent looking free breakfast spread. Personally, I would have preferred to stay at the Westin for $20 more, but Priceline doesn’t always work as planned. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I guess the best mental image I can give is a nicer hotel where a truck driver would take a "nap" with a hooker.

Check-in at DFW was a bit confusing. I went to wait in the Delta Platinum Medallion line, since it looked like Delta and NWA had combined the check-in counters. After about a 5 minute wait I walked to the counter, to have the agent tell me I had to check-in at the other end of the counter with the NWA staff, labeled as Delta staff. However, despite the confusion the agent guided me over to the other counter and carried my bag along with apologizing about the signage. In the end, it was another minute in line waiting, but I’ll give any airline employee that carrys my bag over to another counter a lot of credit for resolving what could otherwise be an annoyance and not giving me some garbage.

Security was less than two minutes. There were parents and their two kids ahead of me, however the father said to go ahead since it would take them a few minutes to get ready.

I walked over to the E10 Crown Room. Very nice lounge with what looks to be newer furniture and carpeting along with some pastries and fruit for breakfast. Definitely not the SQ Terminal 3 lounge, but nice décor and good views too, especially if you’re an AA MD-80 fan. Also, a decent alcohol spread, but I skipped it since it would be a long day.



NWA Flight 2052: Operated by Pinnacle
DFW-MSP
Seat 2A
Embraer E-175


My flight from DFW-MSP was rather loaded in coach and full in first. I would guess there was a 90% load. The flight was a cold breakfast flight and I was rather impressed with the amount of food for a breakfast flight. I stuck with a few cups of coffee and water. The food as a whole was good and I was impressed with the quality of the fruit, nice ripe strawberries. As a whole, service was excellent with my coffee cup not sitting empty for more than 2 minutes and the tray table was removed as soon as I was done.



Arrival into MSP was on time and we arrived into the F concourse. I walked over to the C concourse WorldClub since it has been recently rehabbed and has some excellent views. I spent about an hour at doing some work and had an apple. I've been to this lounge three times in May so far and am a huge fan of it. Unfortunately I wasn't able to book a confirmed upgrade on the non-stop MSP-HNL A330, so I went with the NWA flight 632 via LAX.

NWA Flight 623
MSP-LAX
Seat 1A
Boeing 757-300


Since this was my first ever 757-300 flight I was excited to finally get to try out this beautiful plane. My impression was it's long and just like 757-200 besides that. I wanted to walk the length of the plane couldn't make it down the aisle the whole way cause there was always someone else in my way. The load factor was about 85-90% I would guess and boarding and departure was on time.

I skipped the pre-departure beverage and had a Pepsi (can't wait for Coke to arrive) after takeoff. After realizing that the red wine being served with was healthier than Pepsi, I switched to the wine. As a whole, I liked the big wine glasses on NWA and found the wine to be quite tolerable. Definitely a step up from Charles Shaw, but if they were to sell Charles Shaw for $6 a bottle in coach I'd buy it cause it tastes better than the usual coach crap. n For lunch I went with a chicken salad as pictured below. My impression was the chicken was decent and despite there being a variety of vegetables, there was hardly any lettuce. Also, the desert was an orange/chocolate chip cookie which I had a few chunks out of before deciding it wasn't any good.


I had some water after lunch and had a chance to plow through a few Sopranos episodes. The snack basket was passed around about an hour before landing so I had a banana. In the end it was a flight with average service that arrived on time. Throughout the flight there was an idiot and his wife in seats 2A and 2B describing to his wife what the different planes at the airport were. Some sitings of his were...
-The Singapore Airlines 737-200 (really a 747-400)
-The Northwest Airlines 757 going to Tokyo, also noting it was the same size as the plane we were on (really a A330)
-The ANA 777 in the Star Alliance livery. He pointed out to his wife that NWA is in Star Alliance.
I was half tempted to point out his mistakes, but realized there is no reason to interact with a crazy person.

LAX NWA WorldClub
As soon as I landed at LAX I had to make a quick decision on whether or not I would have enough time to pay a visit to In-n-Out Burger. Unfortunately with 1:30 until my departure, I decided to be realistic and skip it this time. Now I'll have to wait until July at the earliest. I promptly made my way to the LAX NWA WorldClub in Terminal 3 and proceeded to catch up on some work emails and enjoy a few beers. The lounge was the older NWA WorldClub decor and it was rather packed because the NWA LAX-NRT flight was taking a 3 hour delay. Food was cheese, crackers, vegetables for dipping, and dips. Alcohol was the standard NWA open bar. I made it to my gate about 30 minutes before boarding.

NWA Flight 623
MSP-LAX
Seat 1A
Boeing 757-300

Boarding was on time and orderly. I especially liked bypassing the line of 150+ people waiting to board with the cattle class. Immediately upon taking my seat, one of the excellent FAs asked me if I would like a Mai Tai for a pre-departure beverage. Of course I obliged.


I had the great pleasure of continuing to listen to the excellent aviation observations of the couple from the previous flight in 2A and 2B while trying not to burst out laughing. The flight had maybe 80% of the seats full in F, and I had an empty one next to me. Right on time we pushed back and followed the NWA LAX-NRT flight to the runway and were in the air with less than 5 minutes of waiting. The seatbelt sign was turned off quickly after takeoff and service began right away. I decided to continue on with another Mai Tai. I was amazed by the fact that there were Mai Tais and one was offered pre-departure without even asking. It's obvious I have become too used to having to pull teeth on United HNL flights for pre-departure champagne and Mai Tais once in the air.

After a round of the snack basket and another round of drinks dinner was served. I had a chicken dish with paella and vegetables. The chicken had a layer of skin on covered with seasoning so with the fatty parts pealed away it wasn't very flavorful but not bad. The paella was a bit dry, but good nonetheless and the asparagus was excellent. Throughout the dinner service red wine was continually flowing without having to wait more than a minute for the FA to spot my glass was empty.


I spent the next few hours doing some work and watching more Sopranos episodes. It was excellent having the laptop battery life to run non-stop from LAX-HNL and still have some left.

The flight attendants were checking every 20 minutes if I needed anything to drink, so after turning them down a few times, I asked for another Mai Tai, just to make sure I got my daily intake of pineapple. I hate being a bad guy and denying someone the opportunity to provide excellent service, so I took one for the team this time. The snack basket was handed around about an hour before landing followed by some more Mai Tais.

Honolulu and the Princess Krapulani
Landing was on time in HNL and my bag was on the belt within 25 minutes of arrival. I promptly made my way to the Robert's Hawaiian Shuttle to Waikiki Hotels. The round trip ticket was $15 and it took about an hour to get to the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani so I tethered my BlackBerry to my laptop and surfed the internet the whole way and time flew.

Upon arrival, the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani was the same dump I use as a base line for what defines a homeless shelter. However, for $87 as opposed to $155 for the Sheraton Waikiki, the only reason I stayed there is because I'm just plain cheap and wanted the SPG stay credit. At check-in the agent tried to give me a room in the old tower and I said that would be unacceptable since there were major mold problems in my room last time I stayed there. She promptly offered me a room in the newer (1970s vintage) tower on the top floor. I said fine, and proceeded through the seventh layer of hell to my room. The mildew smell was faint, the hallways were hotter than hell, and the elevator seemed to be lacking any air conditioning. I was pleasantly surprised to find a decent looking bed and LCD TV, but my joy was soon taken away when I examined one of the pillow cases and noticed there were mold stains on it, 1 pillow down, 3 to go. Instead of complaining to the front desk this time, I've taken pictures which I will send to the corporate headquarters. Though I forgot to take pictures of the room, I'm including two very nice ones of clean areas of the room. If you would like a mental image, simply picture a king sized bed in an alley, and that's the Princess Kaiulani.

Mold Stains


Calcium Deposits


I unfortunately had to do a load of laundry since I had been on the road for 5 days before this excursion, so did that as quickly as possible and went for a walk around Waikiki beach until 10:00 when I grabbed a small dinner and a few beers at some burger restaurant. Despite being a few minutes early for happy hour, the bartender only charged me the happy hour prices which was great. I made it back to the hotel around 11 and after watching some TV I slept til about 7am. Since I would only have a few hours in Waikiki, I headed to the beach right away where I swam for an hour and went back to my hotel to make a call to schedule a shuttle pickup at 11:15. I then headed over to the pool at the Sheraton Waikiki and using an old keycard from the Royal Hawaiian, got towels and admission to the nice new pool shared by the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Waikiki. I hung out there for about an hour and a half and indulged on the water slide numerous times. I got back to the Princess Kiulani around 10:15, packed up, bought some Hawaii souvenirs at the ABC Store, and ate a snack at Taco Bell. I then headed over to the hotel where I checked out and voiced my displeasure over the condition of the hotel, I avoided speaking to the general manager this time since I felt guilty about telling the nice fellow what a dump the hotel was to his face. The shuttle ride to the airport took about 45 minutes and with internet access the whole way, the ride flew by.

Last edited by bschaff1; May 31, 09 at 7:12 pm
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Old May 31, 09, 1:07 pm
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HNL-NRT-SIN Flights

I arrived at the HNL check-in counter about 90 minutes before departure. I waited less than two minutes in the World Business Class line and an agent promptly processed me. Security took less than 5 minutes so after a few phone calls I headed over the the Northwest WorldClub to check out what had been fixed after the recent closing for updates. There was new carpet and the walls were a different color. This lounge definitely looks much better now in the main sitting area. The entry and food area is unchanged, but I would guess they have to be doing something with in those areas as well in the near future.



After a brief 10 minute walk to the boarding gate, I was staring at my plane taking me to Tokyo.


Upon entering the boarding area it looked there would be a packed flight and for a few brief seconds I felt sorry for the passengers in
Y. I ended up walking around the boarding area for about 10 minutes observing the beautiful airport that the people of Honolulu must be very
proud of. I was by no means planning to visit a museum, but if one wants to see what an airport was like 35 years ago I suggest a visit
to HNL.

NWA Flight 21
HNL-NRT
Seat 1J
Airbus A330-300


As soon as boarding began I made my way to seat 1J to finally experience the WBC product I had been looking forward to trying. My initial impressions were that the seat is comfortable sitting or lounging with good pitch and the bulk head is definitely the way to go because the shell of the seat in front makes it difficult to exit the window seat without disturbing your neighbor. As boarding was going on the flight attendants brought around beverages with champagne, orange juice, and water. All served in glassware. Boarding was completed on time and menus were distributed plus I had lucked out with an empty seat next to me. Within 10 minutes we were pushed back and on the way to Tokyo with an estimated 7:55 flight length.


As soon as we were around 18k feet the initial beverage service began so I decided to have a glass of the red wine (2004 ArtesaMeritage) to accompany my warm nuts. In my opinion the wine had no noteworthy qualities besides reminding me of stinky feet. On the way back to the galley, the FA stopped to refill my bowl of nuts and offer a wine refill at which point I requested a glass of the other red(2006 Casa Silva Gran Reserva Los Lingues Carmenere Colchagua) which turned out to be nothing special either. She offered to dump my old one, but me being my usual courteous self, I slammed the remainder to avoid the possibility that red wine would be spilled or wasted. The AVOD was turned about 45 minutes after takeoff with the dinner starting just afterward. The appetizer consisted of a shrimp, salmon sashimi, and beef tenderloin crostini.


For dinner I went with the pork shogayaki with nimono vegtables and rice. As a whole, the food was flavorful and definitely something different that I normally wouldn't have tried, but I would have ordered something different if I did it over.


One very neat thing I noticed about 90 minutes out of HNL was on of the Midway Islands.



Desert consisted of strawberry shortcake along with port. One of the flight attendants picked up on my fondness of port and made sure to keep my glass filled throughout the next couple of hours.


I didn't bother to sleep on the flight so all I did was watch movies and spend a few minutes making notes of this trip report until breakfast service about 90 minutes out of Tokyo. Breakfast consisted of some sort of egg dish with spinach and ham, some cooked peaches in sauce, a side of fruits, and some cranberry nut bread. As a whole, everything for breakfast was excellent and the fruit was fresh and without mold (take note United).


Landing was on time and it was a quick taxi to the gate we were allowed to get right off the plane with now pig flu nonsense and the security line taking 2 minutes. I walked over to the NWA lounge at gate 22 (good description here) and grabbed some udon noodles and sushi. I then went hunting for a beverage and ran into an old friend that I hasn't seen in well over a year. It was good to see my friend Mr. Sapporo and it was very kind of him to buy me a few beers.


NWA Flight 19
NRT-SIN
Seat 1J
Airbus A330-200

After about an hour at the lounge I made my way to my next flight and boarding began just as I arrived. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures during this flight, but WBC was full and good service was provided all around. My dinner consisted of a beef with oyster sauce dish that was tolerable, but nothing very special accompanied with a red wine that was nothing special. Desert was a slice of some sort of pie or cake and as a whole I would say it was an average meal. I proceeded to watch a movie for the first two hours and then slept for the next 3 before waking up somewhere around Vietnam.

We landed about an hour ahead of time at half past midnight and after a two minute wait I cleared customs and my bag was just arriving after I converted some currency to SGD. I had forgotten my ATM card at home a week ago, so I was living off my Amex and whatever cash I had on me. As soon as I changed my money my bag was coming off the plane, so total plane to getting my bag time was less than 20 minutes. The taxi line looked horrible, but it was a 5 minute wait ride took about 25 minutes to get me to the Conrad on Temasek Court.

Last edited by bschaff1; Jun 2, 09 at 3:26 pm
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Old May 31, 09, 1:07 pm
  #3  
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Conrad Centennial Singapore
I had stayed at this Conrad before in 2007 and was able to reserve it for $140 SGD a night so I decided it was an excellent value for a beautiful property so I would stay again. Check-in was quick and efficient and I received a room on the 14th floor. The room was furnished as I had remembered it before with the one noteworthy improvement was a 42 inch Sony LCD and home theater systen along with hookups for audio and video. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of that.



Since I had gotten a fair amount of sleep on the flight from NRT-SIN I was still very awake so I decided to walk around the city for a while. I walked into a 7-11 an grabbed a few Tiger beers to enjoy while seeing walking around the area close to the Conrad. I was thinking of going to a hawker centre, however I couldn't think of any close ones so after about 90 minutes walking around I headed back to my room where I watched some TV and slept.

I woke up around 8:00 AM the next day and with no particular plans I got ready and after watching the Discovery Channel until 9:00 I headed out. I started to walk over towards the Carrefoure store in the Suntec City mall, but got sidetracked with the Fountain of Wealth food court on the way to the mall. I would best describe this place as a nice air conditioned hawker centre. I had breakfast consisting of spicy fish ball soup which was an excellent breakfast which only cost $4 SGD.

I then made my way to Carrefour where I picked up some Tiger Beers to keep in the minibar, Heinz Chili Sauce, laksa flavored ramen, and pepper crab flavored ramen. My total grocery bill was $24 SGD but now I'd have ramen to remind me of pepper crab at the upcoming SIN DO. I then made it back to my hotel cutting through nice air conditioned malls and dropped off my groceries. I then decided to walk over to the City Hall SMRT stop to try to find my way to the Newton Hawkwer Center, however I had forgotten the name but remembered it was just by the Sheraton Towers, so I caught a taxi ride over there. At the Newton Hawker Center I had some duck and noodles to begin with ($4 SGD), then ordered some seafood and noodles dish ($4 SGD), and got a giant Heineken ($7.50 SGD) to wash it all down with. The Duck wasn't quite what I was expecting since I thought it would be more like Peking Duck and the seafood and noodles was great, but there was simply too much to eat. I stayed at the Hawker Centre before heading over to the Newton SMRT stop to take the train back to hotel. I would have liked to walk around outside for a while, however the 90 degree weather and humidity was just stifling.

Upon returning to the Conrad I decided to head down to the pool and read and swim. The pool was big and fairly empty so it was very enjoyable to hang around there. One thing that really pissed me off was the crappy drink service at the pool. I ordered a Singapore Sling since $14 SGD didn't seem like too much of a rip off and it took 35 minutes and a reminder from me to get the drink. Then the bill came for a $15 SGD drink and I pointed out to the waitress that the price on the menu said $14 SGD and I asked her to show me the different price on the menu. Well she shuffles around with menus and comes back with one stating a price of $15 SGD. I then walk over to the bar where the menus are and the menu at the top, that she shuffled around, has the price stated clear as day for $14 SGD. By the time I had my drink it was warm and watered down from first sitting at the bar for 35 minutes waiting to be brought over and then in the sun for an additional 10 minutes when I had to point out the price because she was too dishonest to admit here mistake and had to bypass the menu with the price I stated I had seen to try to prove me wrong. After replaying this incident in my head, I'm going to be reporting it to Hilton/Conrad because I don't think this dishonesty and poor service are what their company stands for.

After spending about 3 hours at the pool I decided to head back to the food court at the Fountain of Wealth to try some more local food. This time I went with a Korean hot pot with some very spicy beef and vegetable soup and found some duck a lot closer to Peking Duck. I headed back to the hotel where I did some emails for work and received word that my friend I was going to meet had to unexpectedly cancel grabbing drinks that evening. After watching some TV I made my way over to the Suntec City mall where I had dinner at some Vietnamese restaurant that as a whole I thought had crappy service and the staff was rude. The food was tolerable, but the staff ruined my dining experience.

I then headed back to my hotel room because I was dead tired and it was approaching 9 and I had to pack and be a the airport by 5 the next morning. After a few tiger beers and packing I hit the lights at 10:30 and was up at 3:00. I made it out of the hotel at 4:30 and took a taxi to the airport and got there just before 5. The late night taxes and CBD taxes made what would normally be a $20 SGD ride $38 SGD which I think is a bit extortionate.

In conclusion, I had an enjoyable day despite not doing any sight seeing. I have spent a few days in Singapore on three separate trips before so this time I decided to just relax as much as possible.

Since I have been to Singapore for a decent length of time on 3 trips I had no major incentive to do any sight seeing. H

Last edited by bschaff1; Jun 1, 09 at 9:44 pm
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Old May 31, 09, 1:08 pm
  #4  
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I arrived at the NWA counters just around 5:00 AM and before going through the line I got quizzed by one of the security guards on the nature of my trip and packing my bag. The security guard wished me a good trip and said it was a pleasure to speak with me. I wish my encounters with the TSA were always so pleasant.

There wasn't a line to check in, and it was 5:05 AM by the time I checked in. I asked about a lounge pass but the agent said there wouldn't be time for that so I felt saddened I couldn't pre-game for the flight, but understood I would be cutting it close with a lounge and duty free visit. The passport check was quick and I made it over to the duty free where I got a carton of cigarettes for a friend for $18 SGD and had a chance to exchange some currency before making my way to the gate which was ready for boarding right as I arrived.

NWA Flight 20
SIN-NRT
Seat 4B
Airbus A330-200


I made my way onboard and ended up giving up trading seat 5H for 4B so a couple could sit together. I noticed a fellow whom I had sat across the aisle from on the NRT-SIN flight and we discussed the merits of the SIN MR. The load was full in business and steerage looked quite full as well. Push-back was on time and we were off the ground shortly after with an estimated flight time of about 6:30. It took about 30 minutes to turn on the AVOD and breakfast service was done shortly after. Unfortunately there were no menus distributed on this flight and I forgot to take some pictures. I went with some sort of Asian noodle dish with some shrimp, eggs, and curry sauce which I thought was excellent. Breakfast was also accompanied with orange juice, a side of fruit, and two pastries with on that had an apricot in it which was excellent. I stayed up for the entire flight and talked with my seat mate for a good portion of it and watched some movies for the other part. It turns out he was an expat from India working in Singapore heading over to the states for about a month for some work and to visit family and he was well aware of the TEQM promo. About two hours out of NRT, I decided to have a few beers to go along with the snack they were serving, Tigers of course to commemorate my visit to Singapore. Landing was a few minutes ahead of schedule and passing through security for international connections was about a 10 minute wait.

NRT WorldClub
This time I decided to visit the other WorldClub around gate 16. The lounge has the same decor and feel of the other WorldClub, however it is probably a third of the side of the other lounge. I had about 90 minutes to spend at the lounge so I first finished off some work and then did some quality control testing of the Asahi beer machine. I prefer Kirin Ichiban first off when it comes to beer machines at NRT, however I've only seen that in the United and ANA lounges. After some snacks and beers, I made my way over to the gate for me connection.

NWA Flight 28
NRT-SFO
Seat 1A
Airbus A330-200

It turns out I left the lounge about 10 minutes to early and had to wait a few minutes for boarding to begin. As soon as boarding began made my way to the best seat on the plane, 1A. I've never had seat 1A on an international flight, so was especially happy to have the first seat on the plane to myself and also turned out to be luck to avoid a seat mate. Pre-departure sparkling wine was served and push back and take-off were about 5 minutes late. Business class was running about a 90% load factor and coach looked to be about the same. As we were boarding I got to take a picture of the controls and talked with the pilots for a few minutes about the A330-200. They were fans of the A330 and I was glad to see pilots that don't mind showing the plane to the customer.


Within 20 minutes of takeoff the first service began and I had the great dilemma of choosing a wine. I went with a 2002 red that the FA recommended which I found to be excellent. I mentioned to the FA how I found the 2004 Artesa Meritage from my flight over to be rot and she said few passengers liked it, but didn't agree with me that it was a step below Charles Shaw.


The appetizer was served shortly after and consisted of come sort of spring rolls, bankrupt state roll sushi, some chunk of beef that was supposed to be special, and some asparagus.


For dinner I chose the beef tenderloin and found it to be a nice chunk of meat but a little overdone. I understand how difficult it is to prepare a chunk of meet that all customers will appreciate, but think every airline can take a lesson from Air Canada on how to do beef right.


After the dinner I went with some strawberry cheesecake and cheese and crackers. The cheese variety consisted of a slice of swiss and some blue cheese along with Pepperidge Farm crackers. The cheese selection could really use some improvements and should include some gouda, cheddar, and brie at the bare minimum. Water bottles were distributed shortly after and after finishing off my movie I fell asleep for about 5 hours.

Now when I woke up, there was still the empty wine glass sitting on the console as was my empty water bottle that had run out 4+ hours ago. This was unacceptable because over 4+ hours someone should have walked through the cabin and at least picked up the dirty glass and replaced the empty bottle, however none of that had been done. When I'm flying anywhere in business class, I expect the level of service where empty glasses are removed or refilled and the same with bottles. If this had been done in a timely manner, there would be no issue. But leaving a customer without another bottle or glass of water is simply unacceptable IMO and I'm trying to decide whether to complain or not. Any suggestions?

I woke up and watched some more movies until we were about 1.5 hours out of SFO at which point breakfast was served. I would have expected some choices, however fruit, pastries, and yogurt were served along with some cranberry juice and coffee. The fruit was in excellent shape once again and I hate to harp on this point, but I am all too used to getting strawberries past their prime on United whereas NWA has strawberries that are maybe 98% ripe with no defects.

Landing was about 15 minutes late and I cleared immigration without any issues. Within 15m minutes of landing bags were being unloaded on the belt and a fellow was taking all of the priority tagged belts off the belt and setting them up for customers to quickly grab them which is a very nice touch. Mine wasn't there, but I saw it very soon afterward and the priority tag had been ripped off. When I went through customs I got a few questions, but after explaining the MR there were no problems. My favorite question from the agent was "What city in Singapore did you visit?" I was rather befuddled by that and stated "Singapore, I don't think there are any cities even since it is a 20 by 40 mile island and it's a city-state."

The terminal was a zoo when I walked in with long lines for Delta and Southwest. I walked up to the Delta platinum medallion counter to inquire about checking in for my MSP-ORD flight, but the fellow had a real attitude problem and told me I was at the wrong Delta counter. I walked down the other way and no wonder I couldn't find the other first class counter, it was merged in with the other mass of people waiting in line. I figures there was no point in waiting in any line since I could get my boarding pass in MSP and my bag was checked all the way through.

I then made my way over to the Delta SkyClub where I had about 2 hours to wait. The lounge was up what looked to be a cargo elevator and down a dingy hallway, but the lounge was nice enough looking on the inside with some decent views. Not wanting make the bartenders feel unappreciated, I had a few Heineken Lights while waiting and surfing the internet.


The flight had about a 20 minute delay, so I made my way to the gate and through security about 40 minutes before the revised departure time. While going through the security line I noticed there were some nice Hefty Ziplock bags for free, so I grabbed about 40 or so for use around the house. Plastic bags always seem overpriced except when they're free from the TSA. I then made my way to the gate and the delay had been moved up another 10 minutes, so I had to wait for another 20 minutes and there were some rather seedy looking people in that terminal. However as soon as boarding began I almost ran to the plane to leave the common folk for my first class seat.

NWA Flight 360
SFO-MSP
Seat 2D
Boeing 757-200

Simply put, the plane was old and filthy. I would have to guess that this is one of the very early 757s and wouldn't be surprised if this one will bne hauling FedEx envelopes in a few months.


Pre-departure Heinekens were served and I slept for about an hour and was woken up by them bringing around the snack basket. About 90 minutes into the flight lunch service started which was delayed because of some nasty turbulence. I went with a cobb salad and the one thing that made it look so unappetizing was the filthy plane and very old looking silverware. However, it was decent though small.

We got into MSP only about 10 minutes late despite leaving about 30 minutes late and I made my way to the WorldClub. I grabbed a seat in my favorite area and wandered around looking for some snacks and drinks. In the bar area there was a real prick with one fake leg practically shouting on his cell phone and nobody had the sense to tell him to shut up. I commented to the other fellow at the bar about the prick on his phone and we concurred the guy was a real sphincter. The other fellow at the bar basically filled up a 10 ounce water glass with ice cubes and Dewars which I was impressed by. I have simply never seen anybody pour themselves 7+ ounces of whiskey in a glass to drink on the rocks. I was tempted to try to compete, however I decided on a few modest gin and tonics. I left the lounge about an hour before boarding to grab a burger at the Chili's by the gate for my final flight. Here are some lounge shots of the C concourse lounge. As a whole, it's the standard NWA club with the usual booze and food offerings and some nice decor.



NWA Flight 142
MSP-ORD
Seat 2B
DC9-50

Boarding and departure was on time and there were a few last minute elites moved up front. I was half asleep for this flight but managed to enjoy a gin and tonic while along with some pretzels from the snack basket. We landed at ORD on time and I had my bag within 15 minutes of landing. I took the blue line home and walked the mile from the train and made it back at 11:40 PM after leaving my hotel in Singapore at around 4:30 AM on that same day.

Conclusion
As far as this trip goes, it was my third flight ever on Northwest and as a whole I've come to have a fairly good opinion of it. Since I am predominantly a really heavy UA flyer, I'll offer some comparisons on the different products. I still prefer Mileage Plus over World Perks, so I'll leave the mileage plus portion out.

United Wins
-New business class with lie flat beds
-Arrivals lounges for paid C at some locations.
-Boeing 747 and 777 have a higher cruise speed, 25 minutes less for NRT-SFO or SIN-NRT, lets you leave SIN 90 minutes later and beat the NWA flight by 20m minutes to SFO.
-XM Radio/TV are nice if you want to listen to something while on the ground.
-Star Alliance: better lounge options sometimes and possible better treatment in case of irrops.

Northwest Wins
-Better AVOD controls, none of the 8x max fast-forward speed so it's easy to get back to a spot in a movie.
-Generally nicer crews, no bitter matrons encountered the entire trip. Additionally, nice lounge employees.
-Consistent business class product for the next year until United catches up
-Fruit is consistently fresh and without defects
-Better variety of drinks onboard
-Whatever pre-departure beverage you want, United's offer of orange juice or water is less than what prisoners get.
-Snack box on all flights, it's fantastic to be able to have a banana, apple, pretzels, or whatever else is offered even on a short 250 mile flight.
-Lounges, free internet and self server bar worldwide. Non of this drink chits garbage,
-Bedding: A real nice sized down pillow and warm blanket. Also, both are sealed in plastic
-Amenity kit, contents are about the same, but NWA gives them out on NRT-SIN-NRT, while UA doesn't.
-Easy upgrade to confirm: No problem upgrading on a $1800 ticket. Certainly it's about $500 more than it would cost for an upgradeable ticket on UA, however many routing options with instant confirmation.
-A330 fleet: New and modern fleet with AVOD for all and probably better dispatch reliability. May become a downside though.

The End

Last edited by bschaff1; Jun 2, 09 at 5:35 pm
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Old May 31, 09, 6:23 pm
  #5  
gba
 
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Nice report, I'm looking forward to the rest!
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Old Jun 1, 09, 1:48 pm
  #6  
Used to be 'g_leyser'
 
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Nice report so far ^
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Old Jun 1, 09, 3:01 pm
  #7  
 
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I did a SIN mileage run last week. I'm anxious to hear how you enjoyed the heat / humidity there...wow! I look forward to rest of your report.
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Old Jun 1, 09, 6:47 pm
  #8  
 
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Excellent report, very enjoyable. Keep it coming.

FYI, I wasn't aware that HNL-NRT is now served by a NW A330 and not a B747, when did this change happen?
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Old Jun 1, 09, 7:45 pm
  #9  
 
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Nice report so far. Keep it coming!
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Old Jun 1, 09, 8:50 pm
  #10  
 
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Great report! I'll keep looking for more!
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Old Jun 1, 09, 9:22 pm
  #11  
 
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Nice report so far. Pity about the Sheraton in Honolulu. It is sad sheraton does not take pride with all their hotels. Gives them a bad rep.
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Old Jun 2, 09, 6:34 am
  #12  
 
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Nice TR so far.

It's always a good feeling to see airplanes with NW interiors and a DL exterior
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Old Jun 2, 09, 10:35 am
  #13  
 
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Nice work! Looking forward to the rest!
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Old Jun 2, 09, 12:06 pm
  #14  
 
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I'm enjoying the report.

Perhaps you could edit a couple of your headers; for example,
NWA Flight 19
HNL-NRT
Seat 1J
Airbus A330-200
I think this one should have said NRT to SIN. Notice same thing on one header yesterday. Sorry for being so picky but it's easily fixed.
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Old Jun 7, 09, 3:04 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by bostonbali View Post
Excellent report, very enjoyable. Keep it coming.

FYI, I wasn't aware that HNL-NRT is now served by a NW A330 and not a B747, when did this change happen?

as a matter of fact, there are 2 flights a day from HNL-NRT. 1 is a 747 and other A330 - atleast this was the case last november when I flew the 747 to NRT.

By the way. Great blog. Don't you just enjoy the Beer machines at Narita!
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